Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pay-TV Deflation: Time Warner goes over-the-top

Jeff Bewkes, the CEO of Time Warner, is interested in providing all of Time Warner's programming via the internet, to the potential detriment of cable TV and satellite companies.

When I was a strategist at Time Warner, we worried plenty about the ability for programmers to use the internet to do an end run around the cable TV providers. Why pay $60/month to your cable company when you can view or download programs for free from the internet?

The reason we believed this would take a long time was that programmers get paid a lot of money by the cable companies, and should be reluctant to attack them (for less money no less).

And yet.

Eventually the technology will probably make this happen, so it's in the interest of the incumbents to make sure they, and not some startup, is the player doing this disruption. Very hard to do, but the only option.

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